The Nationalist

Bunbury turns Rathvilly estate wood into gold – The Carlow Nationalist

There’s the well-known tale about the little old lady in Texas who sold her property because she had difficulty growing anything in the garden. The earth was black and sticky. The new owners drilled for oil and developed her garden into one of the state’s major and highly profitable oil producers. The moral is that there is often gold in our own back yards – in this case, black gold – and it’s there for the looking.

Illustrating this principle of entrepreneurship is the development of Bunbury Boards by William Bunbury, chief executive of Lisnavagh Timber Project at Lisnavagh Estate, Rathvilly, not so very far from Baltinglass. His business has just expanded again to produce unique boards of exceptional quality, with every Bunbury Board being handcrafted on the premises. William Bunbury told The Nationalist last Friday that the smaller boards made from kiln-dried hardwoods are ideally suited for cheeses, herbs, fruit and bread while the larger boards are crafted for carving and chopping – or as charcuterie servers, displays and platters.

Each board now sold under the registered name of Bunbury Boards is stamped with a unique log reference so that the marketer or owner can download its tree report. Distribution has started through
The Kilkenny Shop in Nassau Street, Dublin and High Street, Galway and nearest outlet, Cook’s Haven in Kilkenny, owned by Patricia Hennessy. Other carefully chosen outlets here and abroad are being negotiated.

William developed his timber business from scratch in 2001, using – as a starting point – the trees from the estate which had to be thinned out and felled, as well as wind-fallen trees uprooted during gales. He developed a Unique Selling Point for his timber by being able to provide a certificate identifying the tree from which the wood was hewn, giving not only a history of the tree (complete with photograph), but the actual number of the plank.

Another premium-builder is the very fact that it is authenticated Irish wood, with the written assurance
that the tree is from sustainable Irish woodland. The business was started to sell hardwood to small and medium sized woodworkers and furniture makers.

In 2004 the business expanded and a workshop was built in order to make custom built timber items,
such as kitchen worktops, bookshelves and bespoke furniture. Registration of the brand name
Bunbury Boards took place this year with resident wood-craftsman Bradley Richards playing an
important part in developing these unique pieces which are likely to be treasured in years to come.

For more details call 059- 916-1784 and ask for Dena Nolan. She’s a real wood-guru.

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